ARM IS FINE
Vikings 40-year old quarterback Brett Favre is currently tied with former
Viking Jim Marshall for consecutive games played with 282. As most know, last
season was a season to forget down the stretch for the-then Jets quarterback,
and part of the reason had to do with the torn biceps Favre played through. So
how is Favre’s arm now that he’s on the brink of setting a new 283-game record?
Well, according to the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Favre claims it’s fine,
even after a game in which he recorded 48 pass attempts.
“I would love
to sit here and tell you that I probably should be icing it and things like
that after games,” Favre said. “I probably shouldn’t have thrown four days
after I had surgery [in May], which was a mistake because it set me back a
little bit. But I have been pretty fortunate. Last year I was not very
fortunate. It bothered me the whole season. I actually did a little stretching
before the game. I do that every once in a blue moon. It’s been probably three
weeks since I have done it.”
So why did
Favre throw 48 passes? And why was he throwing deep bombs in the fourth quarter
with the game out of reach? Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell claims
they had no choice with a box full of defenders.
had everybody in there in the box, slamming everything against the formation,
slanting the front, putting the safety on the back side coming in,” Bevell
said. “They were just doing everything they could to stop the run game, which
leaves their guys on islands outside against our wide receivers.”
one more – why was Favre still playing with a 20-point lead, 300+ yards
already, and less than 10 minutes to go in the game?
would be because the Vikings are doing all they can to give No. 4 as many
opportunities to raise his overall stats for a shot at one more Most Valuable Player
trophy. However, it could be a shot that down the road could take the winning
winds and blow them the other direction, especially if history repeats itself
and Favre’s arm is left numb come playoff time.
on Sunday night in front of millions he will be crowned the ultimate ironman,
which in the end may be just enough evidence for the purple and gold to believe
that his arm is in it to make a run at the Super Bowl.
record, last season against the Cardinals in Week 4, Favre threw for 289 yards
and six touchdowns in a 56-35 stomping of the then future NFC champions. I
think it’s safe to start him this week.
LIKELY TO SIT?
the winds blow those white wintery flakes in the most unlikely of places
creating a chill in the
air, Chris Brown and Ryan Moats are warming their engines. Why? Well,
according to the
Houston Chronicle, Steve Slaton is most likely to sit
out this week’s game against
due to unspecified nerve issues in his neck and shoulder.
issue,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “It’s something that’s been bothering Steve. We’ve
been trying to work him through it, but it seems to have gotten worse in the
course of the last 24 hours. We’ll see. We didn’t want him to take reps away
from a guy like Ryan who might have to play a lot.”
carried the ball 33 times in the past four games in a somewhat shared role with
Slaton, and has been confirmed as the starter by Kubiak no matter what happens
with Slaton. However, don’t count out Moats completely, who is averaging just
over four yards per carry and had an unexpected 126 yards and three touchdowns
against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8.
road, if the Texans find themselves out of the playoff picture don’t be
surprised if they give Arian Foster a long look if they believe that Slaton’s
fumbling problems can’t be fixed and he’s not the long-term solution at running
49ERS STABLE AT RECEIVER?
the beginning of the 2004 season the
to fill the biggest gap on their offense – wide receiver. n fact, since the
2003 season the 49ers haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver (Terrell Owens had
1,300), and the most yards any pass catcher has recorded in the now six-year
period was 37-year old Isaac Bruce’s 835 last season, followed by tight end
Eric Johnson’s 825 in 2004.
according to the
Associated Press, the 49ers believe they may have
finally found stability at the position, and their 1-2 combo of the present
and future. That combo – Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan, who were
targeted a combined 16 times by quarterback Alex Smith in the 49ers’ 20-3 win
over the Jaguars last Sunday, and will continue to be a vital part of the
offense moving forward.
they’re pretty vital to what we’re doing,” Smith said Thursday. “They’re our
two receivers now who are in there the majority of the time. I think they’re a
big part of the reason we’re growing as an offense.”
tight end Vernon Davis believe their presence and contributions have helped
open up the middle of the field for players like himself to excel.
“It’s been a
said. “It’s just wonderful to have wide receivers that can make plays, because
it takes so much pressure off the tight end position that it allows me to get
open because they’re worried about Michael and Josh.”
Crabtree and Morgan combined for 10 receptions and 97 yards last week against
the Jaguars, and although that doesn’t seem like a lot, yardage-wise, it
certainly is a step in the right direction. In fact, Morgan believes that this
is just the beginning for the pair.
only getting started, you know?” he said. “We’re both big, strong receivers who
can block for Frank (Gore), but we can also do things in the passing game. You
have to account for us. When we get the opportunities, we can make plays. We
just have to go out and do the job day in and day out now. The sky’s the limit
with our talent.”
49ers offense is finally coming together and Morgan and Crabtree have been a
huge part of that. However, this offense will only roll if Gore is steamrolling
defensive linemen and linebackers, and Smith is air-rolling (I know it’s not
even a word, but it fits) opposing secondaries.
WON’T BE ANOINTED YET
running back Justin Forsett has played beyond well since Julius Jones found
himself on the sidelines, but has he done enough to claim the No. 1 spot
permanently? And how do you keep him off the field? According to the
News Tribune, coach Jim Mora knows Forsett has earned more playing time,
but by the same token doesn’t want to totally keep Jones off the field either.
that you can’t deny Justin has had a couple of really good games with Julius
out,” Mora said. “ … we certainly need to evaluate that position [running back] and find out exactly what he is, but I don’t think that means you just
completely eliminate Julius either. We still need to evaluate him as well. We’re
going to try and continue to run the ball with whoever is running the ball well
But there’s a
new revelation. According to the
Seattle Times, Forsett will be listed
as questionable this week with a strained quadriceps, but thinks it’s just a
tweak and he’s sat out to prevent further injury.
“It’s just a
little tweak. I don’t see it keeping me out. When I felt it, I was like, man I
should probably tell somebody about this because I didn’t want to further
injure myself,” Forsett said, adding that if it had happened in a game, he’d
have tried to play through the pain.
flipside, Jones practiced at full strength on Friday and should be ready to play
on Sunday. Forsett remains questionable.
In an effort to fix some of their defensive woes and get back on the winning
track, the New York Giants have decided to demote Osi Umenyiora and give
Mathias Kiwanuka a shot with the first team. This was according to the
Press. However, coach Tom Coughlin made it clear that this is a move
for the better of the team, and that it doesn’t mean Umenyiora won’t play at
“We will play
everybody,” Coughlin said. “We will get everybody involved. We are trying to do
the best we can in maneuvering our personnel according to our team. We preach
team defense, so we are going to try to get other guys involved as much as we
can and see if we can’t solve some issues.”
playmaking defensive end has recorded just five sacks this season, but is
at least the Giants second-best pass rusher up front, so he’ll most
definitely still get plenty of playing time on passing downs, but may rotate in
and out on forecasted rushing situations. Having said all this, Umenyiora may
just be a good start this week in IDP leagues, even against the Cowboys massive
offensive line. The Giants are desperate for a win, and the defensive end is
desperate to prove he is still an elite pass rusher.
INJURY FRONT …
is plenty of injury news heading in to Week 13’s Sunday and Monday games.
rookie running back Donald Brown has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the
Titans with a chest injury. This means that Chad Simpson will be the No. 2
option behind Joseph Addai. The Colts have also added Mike Hart to the roster
and worked out free agent Dominic Rhodes on Tuesday.
Westbrook been ruled out, but so has No. 1 wide receiver Desean
game against the Falcons. This could mean that quarterback Donovan McNabb will
rely heavily on Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and even running back
Lesean McCoy out of the backfield.
Ben Roethlisberger feels good, and should be ready to go this week against the
Raiders. “I feel great,” Roethlisberger told the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m ready to go, practiced yesterday,
felt good, no headaches and ready to rock and roll.”
QB Jake Delhomme – Out
RB DeAngelo Williams – Questionable
RB Michael Turner – Questionable
WR Roddy White – Questionable
QB Matt Ryan – Out
QB Marc Bulger – Out
RB Steven Jackson – Questionable
LB Lance Briggs – Doubtful
S Louis Delmas – Questionable
LB Ernie Sims – Questionable
WR Calvin Johnson – Probable
RB Bernard Scott – Doubtful
RB Cedric Benson – Probable
WR Justin Gage – Questionable
WR Anthony Gonzalez – Out
K Adam Vinatieri – Out
DE Dwight Freeney – Questionable
CB Rashean Mathis – Out
RB Kolby Smith – Out
QB Charlie Batch – Out
S Troy Polamalu – Out
WR Lance Moore – Out
RB Reggie Bush – Questionable
RB Clinton Portis – Out
DT Albert Haynesworth – Questionable
S Eric Weddle – Out
LB Shane Merriman – Doubtful
LB Kamerion Wimbley – Questionable
CB Antoine Winfield – Questionable
TE Visanthe Shiancoe – Questionable
QB Kurt Warner – Questionable (most likely a game-time decision)
S Ken Hamlin – Out
RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Questionable
CB Nate Clements – Out
RB Justin Forsett – Questionable
RB Julius Jones – Probable
RB Sammy Morris – Questionable
QB Tom Brady – Probable
week against the Colts, Texans runners Slaton and Brown combined to average 5.4
yards per carry (21 carries, 113 yards).
GEAR UP FOR
Matt Forte breakout. Bears head coach Lovie Smith is feeling
the pressure from his players, including injured reserve star Brian Urlacher,
who claim the Bears have lost their identity, especially on offense. With the
28th-ranked Rams run defense in town – 148.5 yards allowed per game
– the Bears may finally get back to Bears football. Plus, last season against
the Rams, Forte ran the ball 21 times for 139 yards and scored two touchdowns.
rebound. Last week marked the second time this season Smith recorded one reception
for five yards or less. The other was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the
Panthers’ opponent this week. You shouldn’t see that though on
Sunday with Matt Moore at quarterback. Back in 2007, in his first game as
a starter in Week 15 against the Seahawks, Smith caught eight of his passes for
72 yards. Smith then went on to catch 14 more
games, and scored a touchdown in Week 16.
Orton fantasy disappointment. Orton has never made a start at Arrowhead in
certainly has never visited the Pond in under 40-degree weather with rain and
snow in the December air. Plus, the Chiefs are allowing 134.5 yards per game on
the ground, so a heavy dose of Knowshon Moreno should be the best bet for the
Broncos offense this week in tough weather conditions.
Fitzgerald-Sidney Rice showdown. And I’m not just talking from a hair
standpoint. I’m talking about the potential of both making big plays down the
field all Sunday night long. Who’s going to win the showdown? My guess
would be Fitzgerald, but with an ailing Kurt Warner, and a gun-slinging ironman
across the field who loves throwing to No. 18, Rice could prove to be king on
the fantasy scoreboard once more.
reading! Good luck.
is staff writer for Fantasysharks.com. E-mail him